Check out this Blog Talk Radio interview about the ongoing efforts to restore the Charles Sumner Post No. 25 GAR Hall in Kent County, Maryland. The Sumner Post was an all-black post and African-American veterans constructed the building, which was completed in 1908. Only one other GAR Hall erected by black veterans remains standing.
Last year, Barbara Gannon gave us a fine treatment of African-Americans in the Grand Army of the Republic, the nation’s first truly interracial fraternal organization. Gannon insists that interracial bonds of comradeship, forged at places like Ft. Wagner and Olustee, survived the war intact. I highly recommend her book, The Won Cause, which not only received a richly deserved Honorable Mention for the 2012 Lincoln Prize, but was a finalist for the Museum of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Award. Barb’s book is one more in a growing list of titles challenging the “road to reunion” thesis.